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- 29 May 2013 /
- by zoetifex Studios /
If you're not saying it out loud, you're probably at least thinking it: "What the heck is taking so long?"
If you could only be here for the day-to-day activities, you would see that there is plenty going on. However, there is also plenty that is been holding us up. I would probably have to sit and count the number of people that have come to the table offering their help and services, saying that they can make an impact or that they want to help and they want to be part of something big. Only to turn out to be a little less than what they advertised. Everything from executive producers to potential partners to investors to potential clients... one after another approached us wide-eyed and bushy tailed ready to rock. And to a bit of a fault, we never really took a cynical approach to dealing with them. In fact, just the opposite. We opened our doors and our minds and really wanted to show them what we can do. And for the most part, all were very impressed and very eager to help us get things rolling.
New relationships take months to develop and when you are working on such a huge endeavor such as this, you really want to be thorough and go through every nook and cranny with a fine-tooth comb with anyone new who comes on board. But for various reasons (some that have been given and others that remain a mystery), these people have all faded away. And as quickly as they fade away, new opportunities arise.
Like the opportunity to start an animation training facility that will also include the ability for those students with learning disabilities to take part at a location here in Pittsburgh as well as take courses on-line. These courses will be offered to the general public too as a non-accredited program. We are still working out the details, so I can't go any further than that.
Another recent opportunity that has come about is an effort to create Christian focused animation projects for both entertainment and education. This opportunity has a great deal of potential and I am really looking forward to seeing how this pans out. But again - too early to go into any details.
We are also finding ways to develop other types of content (such as live-action combined with CG visual effects) for both TV and Film.
We are slowly shaping up to be a full-blown entertainment company. Not just animation, and not just a production house. We are developing content and we are not short of great ideas. But the hold-up always comes down to funding. Who is out there that will step up and see the potential of zoetifex Studios and what we have to offer? Some are starting to come forward, but the question is - will they fade away like the rest, or will something inspire them to make the leap? I know it's always hard to be the first to get on board - I totally get that. But when it happens, and everyone gets to see just what we can do, I would suspect that those who were waiting in the wings will suddenly spring forward. It's so much easier to jump on the bandwagon than to help build it.
There is hardly a day that goes by without some sort of discussion about moving this company forward. Whether it's an idea, following up with a contact, hearing someone's pitch on a project, flushing out a concept or dozens of other conversations with those involved. Let me repeat something that I have said many times before - this is a HUGE endeavor and we are not building this from the top down. I'm not some wealthy financier who decided it would be cool to start an animation company. This idea was conceived by artists and animators - knowing that we can deliver great entertainment and give some very talented artists a full-time job working on various projects that will keep them interested and entertained as well. So, what the heck is taking so long? We're in the process of building the perfect beast. And that takes time, talent, persistence and a whole lot of patience with the waiting game.
We do thank you for your interest and your patience. This will pay off in the end. In the meantime, for anyone interested in someday working for us - keep getting more experience and keep working on your talent and demo reel. Never strive for anything less than great! I know we won't :)
- 23 February 2013 /
- by zoetifex Studios /
U.S. Tax Code 181 was originally drafted as part of The American Jobs Creation Act Of 2004 as a way to keep filming production companies from going up to Canada and elsewhere to film their movies and TV shows.
Last year, it was rolled into the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (The Stimulus plan). What it does, is it allows an investor to get a 100% deduction on their taxes as long as the production company is spending 70% of their finances in the US and that the cost of production is $15M or less ($20M with some provisions).
This acts just like giving to charity only better. What it also does is gives the investor a 9% tax break on any revenue generated from that investment. So for every $100k that someone invests into a project, they get a $35k tax break (figuring that they would probably be at the 35% tax bracket). And for every $100k they make on the invested project, they save $9k in taxes.
We think this is a huge deal!
With the tax breaks and potential revenue, this should be worth a look for anyone who has the ability to invest.
- 13 November 2012 /
- by zoetifex Studios /
Well, it's been a while since I made a blog post so I thought this would be a good time to get everybody caught up on the state of zoetifex Studios.
Sometimes being absent can mean two different things. It either means that you are so busy that you don't have time to keep people updated, or it means that you have just simply gone away. Thankfully we're still here! So, yes you can take that to mean that I have been very busy trying to move things forward.
It really seems like we've had a big revolving door around here. People have come and they have gone; they've gotten excited about wanting to help out and then the excitement faded; promises have been made and promises have been broken; we've had huge gains and setbacks just as big; we started new ideas for new projects and have continued working on current projects; We've formed new business alliances and have lost others. In other words, things are pretty normal for a start up animation studio around here.
Taking on an endeavor such as this is difficult to begin with, but we are really fighting a difficult battle by trying to do all of this during bad economic times. I can understand how some people would get frustrated and want to give up quite easily because this is very difficult. It takes a strong stomach and the strong will and a strong faith. It's certainly not meant for everybody. But then again if it was, more people would be doing this. I just believe that the more difficult the challenge - the greater the reward.
Okay, so enough of the rhetoric. What's going on with our projects? Christmas Magic has seen its ups and downs. But the plain simple fact of the matter is we need to get started on this project before the end of the year or we will not be able to get this done in time for Christmas of 2013. There have been several roadblocks for us, and the biggest one being funding. We have been close several times to reaching our goal on paper only to have certain people back out. I try not to make this a direct reflection on the project because there had to be something exciting there for them to want to even consider investing in the project. I really just think it's a matter of the tough economic times we are in right now and people are a little nervous about pulling the trigger on anything big. One way that we could definitely get this project off the ground would be to partner with another studio. I was in talks with another studio from India but they've kind of dropped off the radar right now. I started another conversation with another studio and we're still ongoing with our talks. And over the next week or two I plan on starting up other conversations to see what kind of interest there is out there to have some other high-level animation Studios from other parts of the world want to help us out and get involved. I think the first thing that I've got to consider is that we just need to get a project out there. Once the project is out there and people can see the type of work we can do, then we can start focusing on building the studio.
As for Operation: Mindcrime, I'm very excited to say that we will be launching a new Kickstarter project within the next week or so. We are going to use the money from this project to work on the trailer for the film. We've had several discussions with investors and they would just love to see what this thing is going to look like before they invest. We think the Kickstarter is the best way to make this happen.
I have been asked by several people what the reelection of Pres. Obama means for us. I don't really want to get all political so let me just state that this is having no effect on our ability to move forward. We can make excuses all day long about how bad the economy is, but the bottom line is there are plenty of people out there with money to invest in things - we just need to talk to these people and let them see what a great investment it would be to invest in zoetifex.
So what is next? After we are successful with the Kickstarter project we will begin working on the trailer for Operation: Mindcrime immediately. We are also continuing to develop some other programs for television. We hope to get to the point soon where we can get a pitch package together to present to different networks in hopes that somebody takes one of the shows up.
We will continue to collect resumes and demo reels and build a library of phenomenal artists from all over the world. We are thankful for all of the wonderful people that have wanted to come work for us and have sent their resumes and have been very patiently waiting for the time that we start our first production. The only thing I can say to those artists who are waiting to see what happens is, hang in there. Like I said we appreciate your patience and we are trying as hard as we can to get things moving. I guess in retrospect we've only been at this for a few years and we only had the projects that we have right now for not even a year. So while this seems like it's taking forever to me and probably to some others, I think we're actually making a lot of headway and a lot of progress in a little bit of time.
So, hopefully I got you caught up to where we are at right now. I will try to make more frequent blog posts so that there's not too much catching up to do. Thanks your time in reading this and thanks for your interest in following us we really appreciate you.
Michael M .Kadrie